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Surface and Trace Chemical Analysis Group

The Surface and Trace Chemical Analysis Group develops, improves and standardizes analytical techniques used for the elemental, organic, isotopic, radiological, and morphological characterization of surfaces, thin films and particles. Develops novel methods of chemical analysis based on optical microscopy, mass spectrometry, chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry, spectroscopy, autoradiography, nuclear counting, and nuclear track methods

The Surface and Trace Chemical Analysis Group is one of eight groups within the Materials Measurement Science Division. Our group supports the NIST mission in Safety, Security and Forensics with projects ranging from developing and standardizing contraband screening technologies to nuclear particle analysis and forensics. We perform basic research in development of new technologies for the detection of trace particles and thin films on surfaces, sampling, instrument optimization and development of standards.

News and Updates

Projects and Programs


For further descriptions, please see Measurement and Sampling Standards

Fingerprint Chemistry

The goal of this focus area is to leverage the wealth of chemical information present in fingerprint deposits for novel forensic applications. This includes


Optimization of Confined DART-MS

Edward R. Sisco, Matthew E. Staymates, Thomas P. Forbes
The use of direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS) is seeing increased use in a number of fields, including forensic science, environmental

Press Coverage


Group Leader